Since 1974, Central Services Co., Inc. of Waukesha, WI has provided customized lawn care and landscaping services to clients throughout the greater Milwaukee area. Over the past 40 years, the company has built a reputation based on superior standards and affordable services. Sales and Operations Manager Sarah Mack should know; she’s been around Central Services all her life.
“My dad started the business 43 years ago,” Mack explains. “After I graduated from high school, I got my degree in horticulture specializing in maintenance and design/build. Twenty-one years ago, I started working full time for my dad, and I’m still here today.”
Mack’s role with Central Services includes setting up appointments and routing, scheduling and ordering materials that the company needs in its day-to-day operations. That includes the fertilizer that’s necessary to keep customer lawns looking their best, year in and year out.
“We currently offer ‘good, better, best’ fertilization programs,” Mack says. “Our ‘best’ is a five-application program. We recommend that customers go with at least three applications to really notice a difference, but they can even choose a single application if that’s what they really want.”
SEEKING SUSTAINABLE SOLUTIONS
About 15 years ago, Mack took over the selection and purchase of Central Services’ fertilization and weed control products. Right away, she saw the need to switch to a different fertilizer. “I wasn’t too happy with the fertilizer we were using at the time,” she recalls. “It simply wasn’t producing the results that we and our customers expected. We knew we wanted to find a water-soluble formulation that we could mix into a tank with a herbicide, insecticide or fungicide, if necessary.”
Central Services also wanted a fertilizer that would be acceptable to the growing number of customers who prefer a more sustainable approach to lawn care and maintenance.
“More customers were telling us that they did not want us to apply chemical herbicides,” Mack says. “If you’re not going to use an herbicide, the best way to keep weeds at bay is to establish a thick, healthy lawn that can choke out weeds on its own. To get that thick, healthy lawn, we needed a fertilizer that could show fast – but long-lasting – results with lower leaching potential than typical fertilizers.”
BETTER TECHNOLOGY, BETTER RESULTS
Mack turned to her trusted local distributor. A sales representative recommended a new fertilizer called UFLEXX®. While it was new to the market at the time, he said he’d heard good things about the product and encouraged Mack to try it out.
“Since the first year we used it, we’ve had great results,” Mack says. “Our customers were extremely happy, and the results showed for themselves that it was a much better fertilizer. Their turf was stronger and healthier with fewer weeds.”
UFLEXX® is a 46-0-0 stabilized nitrogen fertilizer from Koch Turf & Ornamental that’s specially formulated for professional lawn care and landscape companies like Central Services. Available in a mini- or regular-size granules, it helps to protect against all three forms of nutrient loss – leaching, denitrification and volatilization. As a result, there is rapid green-up, followed by sustained turfgrass color for up to eight weeks. While UFLEXX® is sold in granular form, it is water soluble and can be tank-mixed with many turfgrass protection chemicals.
“We apply UFLEXX® both in liquid and granular form,” Mack explains. “However, regardless of how it’s applied, the plants take up more nitrogen rather than losing it to leaching. Nitrogen moves into the root zone and stays there. The thinner areas common to stressed or struggling lawns start to fill in, and our customers are thrilled to see the transformation.”
UFLEXX® also makes good financial sense for Central Services. Thanks to the fertilizer’s long-lasting nutrition, the company’s crews don’t have to apply UFLEXX® as often as they would with other fertilizer products.
“The cost is very reasonable compared to some of the other liquid fertilizers we could use,” Mack says. “It really is one of the more affordable products for us to use on all the lawns we fertilize.”
“Our customers love the look of dark green grass, and that’s something that UFLEXX® really helps us with. It helps pull off that vibrant green color, and the customer can see a difference, even within the first year of application. We get lots of calls from people who say, ‘I’m not happy with my current lawn care program, but my neighbor’s lawn looks great, and he said it’s because of you guys.’ The word of mouth that UFLEXX® helps us generate keeps bringing us new customers, year after year.”